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SHSS lecturer attends congress and is elected to the Executive Council

Dr. Lydia Muthuma, a senior lecturer in the School of Humanities and Social Sciences, made a poster and paper presentation at the just concluded 19th International Congress of Aesthetics in Kraków, Poland. Held from 21st to 27th July 2013, this jubilee congress was hosted by the Jagiellonian University; a contemporary institution of higher education with an enviable history! The university was founded in 1364, making it Poland’s oldest and with a renown reputation as best institution of higher learning there. Some of its illustrious alumni include Mikolaj Kopernik (Nicolas Copernicus, enrolled in 1491), Karol Wojtyla (the late Pope John Paul II, enrolled during World War II) and the poet Wislawa Szymborska (enrolled in 1945) and winner of the Nobel Prize, among others.


After nominations and voting by the gathered assembly, Dr. Muthuma was elected to the Executive Council of the International Association for Aesthetics (IAA) as Delegate at Large. She is now responsible for matters aesthetics in Sub-Saharan Africa.


The congress’ topic, ‘Aesthetics in Action’ is a response to the tendency of marginalizing aesthetics to a narrow philosophical sub-division alongside epistemology, logic, ethics and other recent sub fractions within this discipline. Yet, aesthetics complements most areas by attending to aspects of human experience that are not reducible to abstract reasoning in the form of logical propositions. The challenge, therefore, is to re-establish the relevance of aesthetics. And one approach is to employ imagination, innovation, and desire –working in tandem with the rational– in addressing the concerns of economics, politics, science, education and the satisfaction of basic human needs. The congress investigated the role of the arts and aesthetics in these vital areas, within the context of a global society.


The 20th International Congress, to be held in Seoul, South Korea will address ‘Aesthetics and Mass Culture’.